Ford Motor Co. juggles its Asia-Pacific executive ranks, naming Mei-Wei Cheng a group vice president and executive chairman of its China operations.

Cheng, 58, who previously served as chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China, will continue to report to John Parker, executive vice president-Asia-Pacific and Africa, the auto maker says.

President and CEO Alan Mulally credits Cheng for Ford’s ongoing success in the burgeoning Chinese market.

“He has led the team responsible for growing Ford’s brand and product presence in China, making Ford one of the fastest growing auto makers in that market during the past few years,” Mulally says in a statement. “I look forward to his continued leadership in this region, which is extremely important to Ford.”

In his new role, Cheng will be responsible for Ford Motor China’s business strategy, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships and government relations, the auto maker says.

In another move, Robert Graziano, 48, is named president and CEO of Ford Motor China. Graziano, currently executive vice president for Mazda Motor Corp., will assume responsibility for the operations and business leadership of the division. He will remain a representative director on Mazda’s board of directors, Ford says.

“Bob’s hands-on leadership style and commitment will be central to our driving our China business and future growth plans for the China market,” Parker says. “Working together with Mei-Wei and the entire Ford Motor China management team, we’re confident that he’ll continue the successful push of our brand presence and increasing sales and market share.”

Meanwhile, Philip Spender, 54, is promoted to vice president and tapped to succeed Graziano as executive vice president of Mazda. Spender currently serves as chief operating officer of Ford Motor China.

The appointments are effective April 1.